Date of Award


Publication Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Lori Buchanan


perceptual grouping, repetition blindness, survival of the grouped




Repetition blindness is the failure to detect repetitions in a display of items that are presented visually and rapidly (Kanwisher, 1987). In contrast, perceptual grouping of nonlinguistic items has been found to prevent RB (Goldfarb & Treisman, 2011). Parts I – II review a series of experiments described in full in a paper by Jackson and Buchanan (2016) where the effect of perceptual grouping on linguistic items in an RB paradigm is explored. Participants viewed rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) and brief simultaneous visual presentation (BSVP) streams populated with letters or words and provided a judgment of frequency. Two highly discrepant patterns of performance across participants were observed; one that evidenced repetition blindness for groups of three identical linguistic stimuli and one that demonstrated improved accuracy for those groups. Part III describes a series of novel experiments where participants viewed the BSVP displays used in Parts IA – II as well as BSVP displays where groups were made more salient through use of well-established grouping principles (e.g., proximity, similarity). A variable pattern of performance was observed, whereby grouping based on letter case demonstrated the strongest effect in the form of increased accuracy as compared to the non-grouped display. Grouping based on proximity and color similarity demonstrated somewhat increased accuracy, and grouping that contained a time component demonstrated no improvement in accuracy as compared to the non-grouped display.